Back away from the vending machine. We get it, every day at around 3 p.m. your ability to complete any task at work hinges on inhaling a bag of M&M’s. That stops now.
In her new book, “The Beauty Detox Power,” nutritionist and New York Times best-selling author Kimberly Snyder — who keeps Drew Barrymore, Kerry Washington, Channing Tatum and Rooney and Kate Mara looking their best — says there are emotional and psychological reasons for our cravings. She helps us figure out what’s behind our eating habits and how we can work on them long-term. In the meantime, her recipes satisfy our need for sweet and salty snacks without packing on the pounds.
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“Chocolate is the most common craving — especially with women,” says Snyder.
But stop blaming your brownie addiction on PMS.
“There’s a really interesting study out of the University of Pennsylvania of postmenopausal women,” explains the expert. “They didn’t find a big drop in cravings that one would expect if it was hormonally related. So it’s more about the emotional and how it makes us feel.”
And apparently the decadent treat is filled with happy chemicals, such as “PEA,” which elevate your mood and make you feel as if you’re in love.
“If you’re chronically craving chocolate, you want to look into other ways to improve your mood,” says Snyder.
Instant gratification:Snyder’s brownie recipe. “What’s great about it is that I make it with avocados,” she says. “It has a lot of fiber and minerals. So you’re satisfying that craving with something that is actually good for you.”
“Carb craving is very, very common, and the reason is they just have a familiar smell, texture and taste,” says Snyder. “They can temporarily feel euphoric. There’s something very comforting about burying your head in a pile of pasta or bread.”
The best way to resist carbs is through activity — “even if it’s a quick exercise to boost your serotonin level,” says the expert.
Instant gratification: For guilt-free indulgence, try Snyder’s vegan and gluten-free mac ’n’ cheese.
“The sauce is made with roasted butternut squash and coconut milk,” explains Snyder. “It gives you a creamy texture that is very easy to digest without any fatty dairy or really heavy cashews.”
Are you someone who craves sweet or salty treats? “I’m actually a salty craver,” admits Snyder.
But it’s not the salt that makes potato chips and crackers so irresistible, she says. It’s the crunch.
In fact, the nutritionist explains that our desire for such savory snacks can indicate pent-up tension that a lot of people hold in their jaws.
“We crave crunchy a lot in the middle of the day when we’re stressed, and there’s tension that’s overbuilt,” she says. “So the root cause we want to work on is not letting the tension build up so much in the first place.” Her solution: Find regular outlets to de-stress, such as yoga or deep breathing.
Instant gratification: If it’s cathartic to crunch down on something, Snyder says go for kale chips. Her recipe uses turmeric and crushed pepper. “They’re easy to make, and you can make a big batch at once.”